It’s day three of the Red Cross Care Partners (RCCP) strike and the weather is freezing.
4,500 personal support workers across the province went on strike Wednesday after the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and RCCP failed to reach an agreement.
While the strike does not involve members of our union, it is a David and Goliath struggle that we should all be concerned about. These are the lowest paid workers in the health system. They have tough jobs that can be physically and emotionally demanding as well as require a high degree of skill. SEIU tells us the average age of these workers is 53. They are predominantly women.
This is the government’s home care policy made transparent – the lowest possible wages paid to a group the government feels has little power or leverage.
Three days in and reports are emerging of agencies scrambling to offer financial incentives to PSWs at other agencies in order to fill in the gap. The money that didn’t exist at the bargaining table seems to now be flowing to keep these poverty-wage women out in the freezing cold.